“The process of transformation that begins here at the Kumbha Mela will continue its work long after you have returned home.” —Pandit Rajmani Tigunait
The Kumbha Mela continually attracts swamis and adepts, spiritual seekers, yoga practitioners, and devotees from all over the planet, who congregate at the confluence of three sacred rivers for a transformational experience and to participate in the rising of a powerful collective consciousness. This, and the opportunity for personal growth, lasts well beyond the physical aspects of the trip itself.
Going to the Kumbha Mela, for sincere students of yoga, is a rewarding pilgrimage. The group currently traveling with the Himalayan Institute reports that the outer journey is a mirror, or a metaphor, for their inward journey. Judging from a few examples of their status updates, they are alternately challenged, rewarded, surprised, frustrated, enchanted, and grateful for this mystical experience of a lifetime.
The group first visited the campus in Allahabad, near the main bathing site on the Ganges, which provided physical comforts (a healthy Western diet that includes three fresh meals a day, clean drinking water, and a twice-daily chai service). The teaching staff offered engaging lectures, providing a context for the history and meaning of the Kumbha Mela, stimulating hatha practices, and a special fire — offering powerful and authentic tools that enhance the mela experience.
For an extra-special added bonus, the group was addressed by the very popular Swami Avdheshanand, leader of the Juna Akhara (one of the largest and most important monastic orders in India), and, later, were graciously received at his compound.
The group will journey beyond the mela site for a retreat at the brand-new campus in Khajuraho—we look forward to sharing another update soon!